Sourdough Rye Bread

Sourdough Rye Bread has a complex flavor thanks to the sourdough starter, rye flour and a little dash of malt syrup. Start the night before to have fresh bread for lunch.

a loaf of sliced sourdough rye bread on a cutting board.

I grew up in central New Jersey (yes, there is such a place as central Jersey!) and being so close to New York it was easy to find a good deli and really great rye bread.

Where I live now, not so much. So, Sourdough Rye Bread is always homemade in our house. But it’s so easy to make overnight there’s no reason not to make it yourself.

This recipe takes more than 12 hours in total, but the vast majority of the time is hands-off.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter. In the meantime, go ahead and Make my Rye Bread with commercial yeast.


Ingredients for sourdough rye bread in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Rye Flour does not have the gluten forming properties of wheat flour. Use any type of rye flour in this recipe, light, medium or whole grain. Stone ground rye flour has an especially nice flavor and texture.
  • Bread Flour is a wheat flour with a high protein content. Higher protein means better gluten development.
  • Sourdough Starter The recipe was developed using 100% hydration starter. You will need to adjust the liquid or flour in the recipe if you’re starter isn’t at 100% hydration.
  • Barley Malt Syrup adds a bitter-sweet note which works very well with the flavor of rye flour. You can substitute honey or a combination or honey and molasses for the barley malt syrup.
  • Caraway Seeds add the characteristic “rye bread” flavor, but they are optional.

How to make Sourdough Rye Bread

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

a bread starter in a mixer bowl with a mixing paddle.
  • Mix the starter with the water, rye flour and 1 cup of the bread flour.
  • Set aside for 30-60 minutes to hydrate the flour and develop the gluten.
Rye bread dough sitting on a couter top.
  • The dough will start out soft and a little sticky.
  • Set the dough aside for 3-5 hours at room temperature for the initial fermentation.
  • The texture will develop while the dough is fermenting.
two bowls of sourdough rye bread dough, before and after rising.
  • Every hour during fermentation. Fold the four sides of the dough over to the center and flip the douigh over. This redistributes the yeast and aerates the dough.
  • With each hour of fermentation the dough will rise higher and become more elastic and “lively”.
  • After the initial fermentation cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough overnight. You can skip the refrigeration step and bake the same day, but the dough does benefit from a long, cool, overnight rise.
sourdough rye bread with caraway seeds added
  • In the morning, knead in the caraway seeds and shape the loaf.
  • Set it aside to rise.
A loaf of sourdough rye bread before and after rising.
  • When the loaf has almost doubled in volume, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with more caraway seeds.
  • Bake until the interior temperature is 200F. Cool completely before slicing.
a loaf of sourdough rye bread on a cutting board

A timeline for making Sourdough Rye Bread

  • If your starter needs feeding, do that the night before or early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough.
  • Mix the dough in the afternoon and refrigerate the dough in the evening before going to bed.
  • Take the dough out first thing in the morning and shape the loaf.
  • Leave the loaf at room temperature to rise for 1 1/2- 2 hours. You’ll have fresh bread by lunch time.
  • To make and bake the dough in the same day, start the dough early in the morning and it should be ready to bake by late in the afternoon or early evening.

Recipe Tips for Sourdough Rye Bread

  • For the best results, start mixing the dough when your starter is at it’s peak.
  • The fermentation time for the dough will vary based on the ambient temperature of the room and the temperature of your dough. The dough will start out fairly dense. It should be quite aerated and elastic by the end of the 3 hour fermentation.
  • If the dough is very cool and sluggish you can set the bowl over a bowl of warm water to warm it up a bit.
  • The time for the final proof can also vary. The bread should be almost doubled in size and if you poke the dough the dent should slowly fill in. If the dough springs right back when poked it’s not quite ready.


  • Sourdough Rye Bread stays fresh at room temperature for 2-3 days.
  • Slice and freeze for longer storage.
a hand holding a slice of sourdough rye bread

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

slices of sourdough rye bread on a cutting board
Print Recipe
4.63 from 271 reviews

Sourdough Rye Bread Recipe

To make Sourdough Rye Bread you can start the night before and have fresh bread for lunch. This recipe makes one large loaf or two smaller loaves.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time40 minutes
Rising Time12 hours
Total Time13 hours 10 minutes
24 servings
Save Recipe


  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup (100% hydration))
  • 12 oz warm water (1 ½ cups)
  • 5 oz rye flour (1 cup)
  • 12 ½ oz bread flour (2 ½ cups, see note)
  • 1 tablespoon malt syrup
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 2 tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 egg white


  • Combine 8 oz active sourdough starter, 12 oz warm water, 5 oz rye flour and 1 cup (5 oz) of the bread flour. Mix with the paddle on low speed until it forms a thick batter. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook. Add 1 tablespoon malt syrup, 2 teaspoons table salt and the rest of the bread flour and mix until the dough begins to clean the bottom of the bowl and form a ball around the hook. If the dough is still extremely sticky and does not clear the sides of the bowl, you can add up to ¼ cup more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If mixing by hand add as much of the bread flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and finish kneading in the rest of the flour.
  • Knead for 3-4 minutes on medium speed or 4-5 minutes by hand. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature.
  • After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You’re basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast. Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.
  • Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes knead the dough, return it to the bowl. By now the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate over night. If you want to bake the same day skip the refrigeration step and continue with the next step.
  • Remove from refrigerator and dump the cold dough onto floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with 1 tablespoon caraway seeds and knead to distribute the seeds
  • If you want two smaller loaves, divide the dough in half. Knead the dough into a smooth ball then taper two ends to form an oblong football shape. If baking in a Dutch oven form the dough into a round ball.
  • Place on a wooden peel or sheet pan sprinkled liberally with corn meal. If you want to bake the bread in a Dutch oven place the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size and it springs back slowly when poked, about 1 ½ hours.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 °F. If you have a baking stone preheat that in the oven. If you want to bake the bread in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot put that in the oven to preheat.
  • Make 5 diagonal slashes in the dough with a single edge razor or very sharp knife. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with the other tablespoon of caraway seeds.
  • Slide the dough onto the preheated stone or slide the sheet pan into the oven. The bread is ready when the internal temperature is 200 °F. Baking time is about 35 minutes.
  • If using the Dutch oven to bake follow these directions: Remove the preheated pan from the oven and remove the lid. Use the parchment paper to lift the loaf into the Dutch oven. Replace the lid on the pot and slide it into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid from the Dutch oven. The loaf should be well risen and pale in color. Continue baking another 20 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned and beginning to crisp. Remove the pan from the oven. Use the parchment to lift the loaf out of the pan. Use the parchment to place the loaf directly onto the rack in the oven. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the loaf is deeply browned and very crisp. Total baking time is about 40-50 minutes.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.05g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My first sourdough bread that finally came out good and not flat and dense! I started my sour dough journey in February 2024, it took 2 plus months to get a decent loaf. Recipe was very easy to follow, I did not do the overnight fridge thing. And I did once and not looking to do again! Happy with the way it came out, taste is great!

  2. Well this has always been a great bread, We love it, but the page is messed up now..
    1. Now that you offer serving size options, you should measure servings in loaves. We bake loaves not servings.
    2. Now that you offer metric measures, using grams and fractions is a mathematical contradiction. Just round to the nearest gram.
    3. Whats with the measurements in the parenthesis that don’t ever change. Either get rid of them or explain why they are there.
    4. When you select metric the lower ingredients don’t change to metric at all. Either do metric or not!

    1. Thank you for the very detailed comments. I’m sorry if you’re feeling frustrated by the recipe. The page and the recipe are actually exactly the same as ever. I just switched to a new recipe card. I do my best to include as much helpful information as I can. I understand about the loaves vs. servings. Unfortunately, I need the servings to calculate the nutrition information so I estimate the number of servings in a large loaf of bread. I try to include the “loaves” in the description but hadn’t done it yet for this recipe. I’ll include that. I write my recipes using US weight measurements so the grams are calculated automatically. I can’t personally round each ingredient in all my recipes to the nearest gram. Unfortunately, those using metric measurements need to round for themselves. My scale only goes to 5 gram increments so I’d have to round to the nearest 5. The measurements in parenthesis are volume measurements for those who don’t own a scale. They are there as a courtesy since many US bakers don’t use weight measurements. The lower ingredients don’t switch to metric since they are written as volume measurements.

    1. Hi Lenka, I’ve never lived at high altitude so unfortunately I don’t have experience adapting recipes. Perhaps someone else can help. Anyone have any tips for Lenka?

  3. Hi,
    Could it be that a bit more white flour is needed? My dough is extremely sticky – so much so that it is unworkable…just plain wet.
    I’ve made this bread 3-4 times before. It’s very good. But the stickiness of the dough varies wildly, and I don’t know why.
    Any ideas?
    Thank you,
    (Wayne, PA)

    1. I honestly don’t think so. I make this bread on a regular basis. The condition of your starter will have a lot to do with the final product. I use a 100% hydration starter at the peak of activity. Also, don’t skimp in the kneading time.

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. I’ve made it three times so far, and it has come out perfectly each time. I now have a standing request from my wife to bake this bread, so it is now part of my weekend routine. I increase the quantity by 50% and make either one large loaf or two smaller loaves. It is a little difficult to slice uniformly with a knife, but it is so good I bought a bread slicer which does a great job producing uniform slices.

  5. 5 stars
    I didn’t eat it yet, but it’s beautiful. I didn’t have caraway seeds or malt. I did add a little olive oil to the mixture. Do you wait until the next day to slice?

    1. I’ve thought about it. But I’d have to work it out a bit since my pumpernickel recipe is quite different than my rye bread. I’ll play with it and try to come up with a good recipe to share.

  6. Have you ever added the caraway seeds directly to the dough during the kneading process instead of on top? If so, how did it turn out?

  7. 5 stars
    This is definitely a five star keeper recipe. My first attempt at sourdough rye was a great success. When I took the loaves from the oven, I was afraid that the crust was overdone because it was considerably darker than the one in your photo. But when I sliced and ate it it was tender and delicious. I think the darker color was the result of substituting molasses for the malt syrup. This bread was the perfect vehicle for the corned beef I made for dinner.The only thing I will do differently next time is make one loaf from the recipe instead of two. That way the slices will be more NY deli sandwich sized.

    1. Hi Jim. Glad your bread turned out well. Sometimes I make two loaves from this recipe and sometimes I make one big one. Like you said, the big one gives you generous slices for a great (in my case tuna!) sandwich.

    2. @Eileen Gray, Looking forward making this again. By the way, I was born and raised in Bergen County, NJ and am living now in Ocean County. My wife grew up in Monmouth County. I used to buy great sourdough rye at a bakery in Toms River but, unfortunately, they closed many years ago. Now, I can bake my own. It’s a must for my St.Patrick’s day celebration along with my Irish soda bread.

  8. Want to try this recipe. Sounds great! Ordering a Dutch oven and want to know quart size for this recipe.

  9. I want to make this bread today but I don’t have malt syrup. Can I substitute with molasses?

  10. 5 stars
    The best rye bread! I have probably made this at least 15 times, and it’s perfect every time. It stays fresh for days if it lasts that long.

  11. 5 stars
    Love this recipe. I’m a newbie to sourdough and baking in general. Although I don’t use the seeds or egg wash, it’s my go to bread and it toasts beautifully. The rye flour is a healthy addition and helps with digestive issues.
    A simple recipe for a beginner. IThank you so much Eileen. Happy little vegemite 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    I make this recipe at least twice a month and it always turns out delicious! I love the spicy crunch of seeds so I mix in about 1tsp of anise seed, 1 tbsp of caraway and 1 tsp fennel seed. It is aromatic when baking and again when toasting. Thanks, Eileen!

    1. Thanks! I also make the bread a few times per month. It’s a personal favorite and freezes very well.

  13. 1 star
    Please clarify: for the bulk fermentation is it:

    A. After mixing the dough, do 2 turns of 4 stretch &folds each, 1st at 30min & then 1 turn again 30 min later; then + 1 final turn 60 min later for a total of 3 turns


    B. After mixing the dough, do 2 turns of 4 stretch &folds each, 1st at 30min & then 1 turn again 30 min later; then + 1 more turn 60 min later for a total of 3 turns; PLUS at 60 minutes n later, do a session of kneading (in step 5) of X minutes then return to bowl … to either continue ferment if not lively enough or to cover & refrigerate overnight.

    Have not made this recipe yet but all those I’ve done instructed doing only stretch&fold turns in bulk & emphasizing the later turns be done gently to hold in the gases that were built. Just haven’t seen a method doing a final kneading instead of a 4th turn after building up strength & bubbles during the bulk.

    So I’m wondering- maybe this kneading is done to keep the rye bread denser? My experience is with artisan breads so open crumb is desirable.

    If I need to version B with a final kneading on the bill ferment, how long to knead before refrigerating?

    Thank you for the recipe & help with my uncertainty on turns/methods needed here. Also, I can’t wait to try some of your other sourdough recipes, what a great looking & unique collection you’ve created! Have read a lot for many years & yours seem more creative than most, especially your discard recipes.

    1. I’m not sure if you intended to give the recipe a 1-STAR review. But I will answer your question. I guess I’m not as strict about my recipes as some others. I do like to do a few folds during the bulk fermentation to distribute the yeast and keep track of it’s progress. But I don’t think it needs to be so precise and exact with the timing. One of the things about sourdough baking is that you do need to be flexible with the timing as the dough will do what it wants at it’s own pace. I consider sourdough baking an intuitive process where you have to keep an eye on the dough and less on the clock. Your particular environment (kitchen temp, etc) and your particular starter will behave differently than mine. I generally check on the dough (with a few folds) 30 minutes in to see how things are progressing. I check (fold) every 30-60 minutes from there until the dough is ready to shape. Personally, since I use rye bread for sandwiches I don’t mind if I loose some of the bigger bubbles during shaping. So I do knead in the seeds when I shape it.

  14. Can this bread be made in a bread machine? on the dough cycle at least for the first part, then rise after it’s been turned out and kneaded into a ball?

    1. I have never used a bread machine so I couldn’t say for sure. If the machine just mixes and rises the dough I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  15. Thanks for putting the ingredients and quantities right in with the method! It makes things SO much easier not having to move back and forth in the recipe. A very thoughtful thing to do! Much appreciated. I’m about to try the recipe as it looks great.

    1. Yes, I love that my recipe card can include the ingredient amounts in the steps. I, to, hate scrolling back and forth.

  16. I can’t seem to figure out where I went wrong. My starter is super healthy and active. I have made several loaves of plain sourdough just this week with success. But for whatever reason, this dough just isn’t working. I’m about 11 hours in. And it’s getting stickier and stickier. No bubbles seem to be forming. And no gluten structure. I’m still going to bake it just to see what happens. But I’m definitely going to have to try again bc it seems like people love the recipe!

    1. Huh, I can’t say for sure. Did you weigh your ingredients. Did you use the same proportion of bread and rye flour noted in the recipe>

  17. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice and love it. I do not have a mixer and so all is done by hand. I have been making sour dough bread /ancient grain bread for years and this is my new fav. But I would like to confirm all measurements are by volume and not by weight.
    I am a Canadian and deal mostly by weight measurements
    Ie grams or pounds/ounce.
    I found my sour dough starter was always way more active when fed the flour and water when the measurements were by
    Weight. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I’m not sure what you’re asking about the measurement of wt/volume. The recipe is written for weight measurements. I also include volume measurements in the notes because many US bakers use volume measure. If you want to see the weight measures in metric you can click the button at the top of the recipe card to toggle between Us and metric measurements.

  18. 5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe, and thank you for all the sourdough tips! I am very lazy and use the general no knead method, and since this is refrigerated I have let the dough set in the fridge a couple days till I am ready to bake. I finally have gorgeous loaves!! I wish I could attach some photos!

  19. 5 stars
    I love this bread recipe! I made this only I used 3/4 tablespoon of molasses instead of malt syrup because I didn’t have it. It turned out so beautiful and I cooked it in my Dutch oven. The flavor is amazing! I am going to make this one of my regulars. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  20. 5 stars
    After a long slog of trying other online recipes, this one is the winner!!! What I wanted was a dense, sour bread, and this one delivered! I used my own two hands for kneading rather than a mixer, didn’t give the bread an overnight final rise but gave it a warm place in my oven with the light turned on over 2 hours, and it turned out so sour, so rich, and so, so good! Bread-making is forgiving. I recommend this recipe and challenge everyone to tweak it to your preference.

  21. 5 stars
    Just pulled my first loaf from the oven. Nearly twice the volume of a previous recipe I tried last week. Can’t wait till it cools to try a slice.

  22. I’ve made your Overnight rye many times with fresh yeast but now for the first time with sour dough and it just came out FANTASTIC. Brings me back to my childhood in New Jersey and the rye bread bought at the bakery. Thank you sooo much.

  23. I am trying to make this bread, but it didn’t formed a ball before pouring it in the lightly pulled bowl. I added about 3/4 c more flour so I could at least make something like one. At the first stretch and fold it was super sticky again. Again it took more flour, so now I’m waiting to see what happens. At least it is already quite stretchy.

    1. The dough will start out quite sticky but will develop during the long fermentation. I find this dough easy to shape after a night in the fridge. If you shape the loaf while it’s still cold it’s easier to work with.

  24. My starter is 50 / 50 flour / water by weight. The water flour ratio in this bread was too high – too much water. I had to add 3/4 cup of flour to get a workable dough. I use commercial Power Flour for my baking which has a high protein level. Every rye recipe I have tried comes out with too wet a dough to manage when I follow the recipe. When I cut the water or up the flour I get a good product. The ratio ( by volume) I typically use is 2 starter: 2 water: 8 flour which gives a fine loaf.

    1. @Tim S, can you explain what does it mean it 2 2 8. I am trying to make whole rye bread.

  25. I have been baking bread since I was in grade school, and finally decided to try making a sourdough starter. I made this bread yesterday, and it is absolutely my best yet. Perfection!
    I baked it in a dutch oven covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 20 more.
    Thank you for posting your recipe — I will be trying some of your others, for sure!

  26. I love this site and have made this amazing, perfectly flavor-balanced recipe twice as written (with tweaks in hydration for my flour). Last time was for St. Patrick’s Day to go with just as delicious homemade pastrami.

  27. I think this is a fantastic recipe. I like to bake bread a little hotter so the modification I made was I baked it at 450 for 20 minutes with the lid on my Dutch oven, then took the lid off, turned the oven down to 435 and set it on a baking stone for about 15 minutes. Then let it set out uncovered for a few hours.

    It was tangy, thick, crusty, funky, just perfect.

  28. Thank you for the volume measurements as I have been baking more than 50 years and don’t particularly get good results with weighted one. As an experienced baker volume measurements work as I adjust when needed by sight, feel, and touch. I do understand that a lot of people will only bake by weight…I have done both, but definitely prefer volume, with adjustments when needed! My family loved this rye bread and I will continue to make often. Great recipe!!

  29. Tried this recipe 3 times before getting it right with some adjustments.

    When making into a single loaf, the center came undercooked and gummy each time whether baked on a steel or in a preheated dutch oven, and extending the cooking time did not help either.

    I decided to try reducing each of the ingredients 25% by weight to make a slightly smaller loaf and this seems perfect. I have been making this weekly for a couple months now and at 75% it comes out beautiful every time.

    1. Yes, you can bake it the same day. The long cool rise in the fridge does nice things for the taste. Also, it allows me to have fresh bread by lunch time.

  30. I made this dough/bread for the first time last night and today. I had some nice ripe starter and wanted a rye recipe. The dough mixed nicely in my new 8qt. Kitchenaid. I stashed it in the frige for the night. When I got it out this morning, I was very pleased at how nicely the dough looked. There were obvious bubbles. I shaped the dough into a boule’ so that I could bake it in a Dutch oven. At about 1.5 hours, I watched it carefully. Another 30 minutes and it didn’t expand anymore. I had the Dutch oven in the oven heating. When it was ready, I transferred the dough into the pot with the parchment paper. I did the baking per the recipe. At the point of putting it back in the over outside the pot, I checked the temperature. It was only 177F. I was shocked. The crust was very brown. So, I turned off the oven and left the loaf in the oven for 15 more minutes. At that point, the loaf was about 185F/ and there was raw dough on the thermometer. So, I took it out of the oven and let it cool for two hours. I then cut it in half through the middle. There was obvious under baked dough in the middle. So, I turned the oven back on to 300F and put the two halves onto the rack for 10 minutes. At that point, I felt that they were baked enough. After they were totally cool about 5 hours later, I sliced one of the halves. It did seem fully baked then. So, what did I do wrong? My Dutch oven was a 4 quart. The boule’ fit nicely in it. It didn’t expand to fully fill the pot. I thought maybe I should have used the 7 quart Dutch oven that I have. The taste is wonderful, the crust very “crusty.” Any advise will be appreciated.

    1. @Patricia Swanson, I baked mine in similar fashion, but kept it going until it was 170°F and then removed the lid and took it to 190°F. I just disregarded the cooking time in the recipe and went by bread temp.

    2. @Patricia Swanson,
      I had gone by the temperature not the baking time. It is a big bread and needs a bit more time. Had the same problem with the same recipe but with fresh commercial yeast.

  31. I started making bread because I wanted to learn how to make rye bread like we use to get at the small bakeries that are so rare these days. About a year ago I found a good recipe that produced a bread very similar to what I use to consider the best rye bread in town (Krick’s Bakery if you know the Lehigh Valley). This rye is even better. Five stars. Next stop: your sourdough pumpernickel.

  32. Just served this bread warm from the oven to hubby for breakfast…..rave reviews from my strongest critic! Perfect crunch to crust, middle soft, without an overpowering eye taste. Baked 2 loaves in my baguette pan……a little small, would go back to boule next time.

  33. Can i add cranberries, fennel seeds, orange rind, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and anise together with the caraway ? I tried this combination with another recipe and it tastes great.

  34. I really love this recipe. It has a delicious flavour, very moreish. It’s quite a soft dough, but I find cooking it in a Dutch oven ensures a perfect shape.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    1. It is a wet dough but if you let it rise overnight in the fridge the dough is quite easy to handle when it comes out of the fridge in the morning.

  35. Eileen, I have used this rye, as well as your sourdough bagel recipe as a baseline guide for quite some time — they are terrific! I know you have disagreed with these comments before but the reason I call them “baseline” is when you measure in weight (grams) and nothing by volume your numbers are off. For example, all the bread flours I have seen call out 30 or 31 grams per 1/4 cup so ~ @ 120 grams a cup the 2.5 cups above would be 300 grams not 350…additionally, Bob’s red mill stone ground rye I believe calls out 102 grams per cup.

    This is the classic issue of volume vs weight measure in bread baking.

    For me I have worked with both recipes and gotten every item down to the correct gram weight, never have to worry about adding flour part way through and as I said previously, after doing this they turn out perfect every time. Thank you for the great baseline

    1. Yes, this is why weight measures are always more accurate. I bake constantly, and check myself often. By the way I fill a cup of flour I consistently get 5 oz per cup (ap and bread flour) or 140g per cup. I don’t necessarily disagree with readers who say they get a different weight for a cup of flour, or that other sources they read give a different weight for a cup of flour. What I want to explain is that the weight of a cup of flour is not an absolute. It’s totally dependent on how the baker physically fills the cup. So, I will have to disagree with the premise that “all the bread flours…call out 30 or 31 grams per 1/4 cup”. That only means a 1/4 cup weighs that much based on how that particular brand fills the cup, not on some law of nature. If you are truly measuring “nothing by volume” and only by weight, there should be no discrepancy. A gram is a gram is a gram and an ounce is an ounce is an ounce. I’m not trying to be argumentative or dismissive. I am trying to be very clear so bakers understand that weight measurements are an absolute. Volume measurements are not an absolute because they are dependent on the person doing the measuring. I’m truly glad you like the recipes and have worked out a method that works for you. I sincerely enjoy the opportunity for a good discussion about baking practices.

    2. @Bernie, Thank you! Would you please share your final weights for the ingredients? I really love rye, but I just can’t afford the time/$ to practice a new ryed recipe, (I have to order the flour online), and you have done the work already!

    3. @Eileen Gray, don’t forget that temperature and humidity are also factors when trying to measure flour, (there is no absolute) whether by weight OR volume; slight tweaking should be expected, but in the end, (IF your scale is calibrated – yet another variable!), weight measurements have always saved me time some tweaking time with new recipes or ingredients; can’t “weight” to try this recipe :)))!

  36. From a fellow Central New Jerseyan (yes, Central Jersey is real!) – I absolutely LOVE this bread. I was searching for a recipe that would match the store-bought Pechter’s rye that we’ve eaten for years, and this is so much better. For the seeds, I use a mixture of half caraway and half nigella (charnuska) seeds for an even heartier flavor. I make it once a week and my family adores it.

    Yes, the dough is sticky, even with adding a couple tablespoons extra flour, but I let the mixer go for the prescribed minutes and then just scrape it from the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured work surface. Then I use a bench scraper and fairly light touch to help form the ball for the bowl, and that works just fine. In other words, I don’t sweat that step too much.

    My only issue is trying to distribute the seeds thoroughly during the final knead. I haven’t perfected that yet since I don’t want to over-knead, and sometimes they end up clumped in one section of the bread (but it still tastes great). Is it possible to add the seeds earlier in the process so they can be mixed in better, or will that interfere with the rise?

    One more thing: I use a preheated Dutch oven to make this recipe, and one time I forgot to preheat it in oven. I just put the loaf into the cold DO, added 5 minutes to each stage of the baking (lid on and lid off), and it still came out fine.

    All in all, a fantastic, forgiving loaf. Thank you!!!

    1. @Linda,
      I made this for the first time this week and screwed up the recipe. I added the seeds when I first mixed the dough. It came out great. See my comment above.

  37. made this bread last week and at first I thought it was going to be a complete disaster, as I needed to add almost 2 extra cups of flour to the dough, as it was so sticky, I couldn’t work with it! I decided to just go for it anyway. I didn’t have enough bread flour, so had to substitute all-purpose for the extra flour, and the dough didn’t give me a great rise, but overall, the bread still turned out to taste great and rose nicely during the bake. I did go over the reviews and discovered I spoon my flour into the cup, so this may be why I had to add so much additional flour. Swore I would never make this bread again, after my fingers looked like webbed ducks feet, trying to work the dough, but changed my mind, after tasting the yummy final product

  38. This is the first bread I’ve made since I first started making sourdough break more than a year ago that made me say, “Wow!” when I took it out of the oven. Husband and son both agree this is the best sandwich bread they’ve ever had. I ate it as toast and never even made it to the sandwich stage! Thank you!!

  39. This was my first bake using this sourdough rye recipe. The bread is a splendid loaf with a mild rye flavor. I used 14% bread flour and whole grain rye. It was a very wet and sticky dough which I expected due to the high hyration and rye in it. I did add a little more bread flour during the kneading. I shaped it prior to the retard. It rose exceedingly well in the refrigerator almost to the point of overproofing (approx 12 hrs). My starter is quite strong so I’m sure that played a part. Excellent recipe.

  40. Delicious recipe! Very soft, and love the egg wash caraway top. I used molasses; I’ve never bought or used malt syrup. Making it a second time, I noticed the water was in milliliters rather than grams which I didn’t notice or expect. Now I know why I needed more flour the first time!

    1. @Andi,

      1 milliliter is exactly on gram of water, so you still don’t know why you needed more flour the first time.

  41. I’ve made this recipe several times and always works like a charm, it’s delicious rye bread!
    I have a question though. I recently ordered a 25lb bag of rye flour (call me crazy, but it was way cheaper that way), so my question is have you ever made it with more rye, like half rye half bread flour? Or does that change the texture too much?

    1. Yes, the texture will change the more rye flour you add. Rye bread is not good at making gluten. At some point adding more and more rye flour would tip the scales and make the bread more dense. You’d have to gradually increase the amount of rye to find out when it’s too much.

    2. @Eileen Gray, thanks for the reply. One other question, have you ever doubled this recipe? I was hoping to make two loaves at a time.
      But I wasn’t sure if it would be too much for the mixer or if the amounts work just being doubled.

      1. This is a big batch of dough. I don’t think your mixer could handle a double batch if it’s a regular stand mixer. I often split this recipe into two smaller size loaves. If you’ve got 2 bowls for your mixer you could make two batches simultaneously. Mix one, then the other and keep the two doughs going at the same time. I often do this when I’m testing a recipe and want to compare different batches.

      2. @Eileen Gray, thanks, unfortunately I did not see this message before I attempted the double batch, and it was most definitely too much for the 5 quart stand mixer .. it was a bit of a disaster, so for anyone reading, definitely do as suggested and mix two separate bowls if using stand mixer and doubling the recipe. I did some damage control and still managed to hand knead it the rest of the way, but let’s just say, it was a mess.. dough climbed the dough hook up into the machine. (My husband just bought my a stand mixer, so I’m still experimenting with what it can and can’t do…)

        1. If you don’t have a spare bowl for your mixer yet I highly recommend getting one. If you make a cake batter that requires whipping eggs whites, for example, you can mix the two parts of the batter without having to empty and wash the bowl in between. Also, having two bowls makes it easy to do double batches of bread, etc.

  42. I grew up in N.J. and my dad would bring home sourdough rye bead that was baked in N.Y.C. The loaves were enormous and cut in fourths for sale. Have not had any in 65 years and was really wanting one more taste of sour rye. Found some whole rye flour at a mill in a nearby state that shipped and took a chance. Your recipes gave me an active starter and I’ve been making 2 loaves of sourdough rye every 2 weeks for months. My crumb is not as open and airy but the bread is delicious, not quite like I remember but my memory is probably off at 82, taste buds are off too but ever so happy…….Thank you.

  43. I made this recipe. It creates a simply AMAZING loaf of wonderful sourdough rye bread. But I can never exactly follow a recipe, so I added the caraway at the same time as the other ingredients; I did not use egg white; I scored differently than called for; I did not add caraway to the top of the loaf; I baked at 475 for 35 minutes lid on and 20 lid off in my Romertopf baker (I’m at a high altitude so baking temps and time differ from lower elevations) to an internal temperature of 205f. I’ll tell you what, the house smelled so amazing with this bread baking … My loaf looks a little wonky, but who cares? I love the ‘rustic’ look in a loaf of bread. I could not and did not resist the temptation to cut into the loaf fresh from the oven. This is just amazing bread! Very crusty outside with a cloud-soft, light, open crumb, so flavorful! Unbelievable! I’ll be making this more and more.

  44. This is the best recipe ever! I love this loaf! I make a mixture of seeds and flaky salt for the crust! Devine!

  45. Chiming in…. mine coming out of the fridge this morning, so stay tuned. I did not have malt syrup so put a teaspoon of malt powder in. I always use this. The dough was very sticky the last nite, could not knead it at all, so just folded it over and over. We shall see what happens. Why is there no vital wheat gluten in this recipe?

    1. You can add wheat gluten if you’d like. But I use bread flour for it’s high protein content to balance the rye flour.

  46. Rye flour, should it be sifted or whole grain. Have access to both. Also from NJ and miss that kind of rye bread. Thank you Eileen for finding the tastes I so miss and putting them into doable recipes.

  47. The quantities for the amount of rye flour are off.
    1 cup of rye flour = 102 grams
    145 grams of rye flour ~ 1 1/3 – 1 1/2 cups
    5 ounces = 142 grams

    Not sure whether I should be using 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups of rye flour……

    1. The weight of a cup of flour is not an absolute. How you fill the cup will determine the actual weight of the flour in the cup. If you fluff up the flour in the bag and then spoon it into the cup you might get something closer to the 3.5 oz you are using as a measure for a cup of flour. But even with that method that seems quite light for a cup of stone ground rye flour. I use the “dip and sweep” method to fill a cup of flour. That is, I dip the cup into the bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess. Measured like this a cup of rye flour is always 5 oz for me. The conversion for oz to grams is 28.3. 5 oz x 28.3=141.5g. I rounded up to 145 since many scales use 5 gram increments. All my recipes use this method consistently. This is why it’s always most accurate to use weights for baking if they are given for a recipe.

  48. Hi;

    How do I make this recipe “extra sour”?

    What do you think I should do?

    Please advise.

    I am planning to have a rye starter and a “regular” sourdough starter (we love plain sourdough bread). We also love our sourdough “extra sour”!!!

    I really appreciate your help.

    Thank you very much!!!

    1. How you feed and maintain your starter will affect how acidic the starter and bread are. For an extra tangy sourdough bread a long, cool fermentation will encourage the more tangy acids in the dough.

  49. Sorry for the double review! I thought I was editing my initial review (I meant to give 5 stars) and instead it posted two.

  50. Sourdough Rye Bread…….. Yummy!
    I’m sorry, but I must have scrolled past the calories and nutrition information. If you would, please, tell me where it is, or post.
    Thank you so much for your great recipes : )

  51. How do you achieve “internal temperature of 190°-200°F” in 35min? at 425F it took me more than an hour, to the point that some spots on the crust got burned.

    1. The baking time will vary based on the temperature of the dough, the shape of the loaf you make, the idiosyncrasies of your oven and the material and color of the baking pan.

      1. I don’t have a Dutch oven, so I use a regular oven tray. My oven has a steam function, should I turn it on when baking bread? The whole time, or just the first 20min? When using the steam function, the oven manual recommends lowering the temp by 10C.
        I guess I can just experiment, but I wanted to know if you had (or know someone) experience with this.

        If the built-in steam function is not good enough, should I put another tray underneath, filled with water, to generate some steam?

        Thank you!

        1. How nice to have a steam function on your oven! I would say the first 20 minutes for steam would work. The way I do it with a tray of water on the bottom of the oven, the water usually bakes off in 20 minutes or so. As far as lowering the temp, I guess you should probably follow the manual.

      2. I don’t know if it’s because my starter is relatively liquid but I found this recipe was way short of flour. Like probably the better part of a cup.
        I find this with a lot of bread recipes on the internet. It’s frustrating!

        1. Do you use a cup measure or weigh your ingredients. If you use weight measures you’ll get a more accurate amount of flour. Depending how you fill your cup, there can be as much as 1-1.5 oz difference per cup. I use the “dip and sweep” method. That is when you plunge the cup in to the flour bin to fill it, then sweep away the excess. I get 5oz per cup. If you spoon the flour into the cup you might be closer to 4 oz per cup.

          Also, you starter can make a difference too. I use a 100% starter. That is, the starter is fed with equal weights of starter-flour-water.

          1. I agree with the original comment. It never cleans up with the recipe amount of flour. And I always measure by weight and use 100% hydrated starter. Though I think it’s maybe a bit more liquidy because I never pour off the starter “hooch” and just use it as is?

          2. I always stir the “hooch” back into my starter. But if you’ve got hooch forming, that means your starter hasn’t been fed in quite a while. I would suggest giving your starter a double feeding before using it for this bread. A riper starter has more acetic acid and that can inhibit the gluten formation. Because this recipe use a full cup of starter, that starter needs to be well fed, aka “young” when the dough is mixed.

  52. The sourdough rye is the 4th sourdough recipe I have made from your site. I just took it out of the oven and can’t wait for it to cool off enough to slice. I decided to bake in my Dutch oven since I was afraid of it loosing its shape on a sheet pan….mine aren’t that heavy duty.
    I have made the Basic Sourdough Artisan loaf many times.

  53. The sourdough rye is the 4th sourdough recipe I have made from your site. I just took it out of the oven and can’t wait for it to cool off enough to slice. I decided to bake in my Dutch oven since I was afraid of it loosing its shape on a sheet pan….mine aren’t that heavy duty.
    I have made the Basic Sourdough Artisan loaf many times. The problem is eating too much of it! I have had great results with all your recipes I have tried.

  54. I’m just starting to prepare my dough and I am wondering, How long should I knead the dough after the 60 minute rise in step 5?

    1. You don’t need to knead it at this point. After the total fermentation time you are ready to either put the dough in the refrigerator overnight and shape and bake the bread the next day, or you can skip the refrigeration and go ahead and shape the loaf, rise and bake.

      1. Thanks! My granddaughter was here and I hadn’t gotten your answer yet so I did let her knead for about 3 minutes as she had never done it before. It’s now in the fridge and we will finish in the morning. It already looks amazing! I will reply and post a picture tomorrow if I am able:)

      1. Until the loaf is almost doubled in size and seems nicely aerated. If you poke the dough and it spring right back it’s not ready. If you poke it and the dent slowly fills in, it’s good to go. The time will vary based on room temp, dough temp and the activity of your starter. I would estimate 1 1/2 hours.

  55. Wonderful bread! I made half the recipe and baked the bread yesterday. The loaf was quickly eaten and I’m making more today. Both times the dough was very sticky and wet. I needed to knead in extra flour to have the dough just sticky.

    I weighed the ingredients and looking over the recipe I noticed that you converted the 1 1/2 cups water to 375 grams, rather than 355 grams. (1 cup being 236.6 grams times 1 1/2 cups.). 20 grams of water isn’t a lot but it might account for the wetness of the dough and need for extra flour.

    1. I listed the water in volume measure, so milliliters, not grams. Yes, if you are weighing the water the weight would be 336 grams.

      1. I’m pretty sure a milliliter of water weighs exactly one gram, so I don’t understand why you are drawing a distinction here. It doesn’t matter which one you call it in your recipe. It’s the same thing. If I go by the recipe and use 275 grams of water, the total hydration comes out to 80%. There are 487 grams of water (including the starter) and 607 grams of flour (including the starter), which is 80% hydration. If you count the egg white as part of the liquids, the average egg white is 30 grams so the total hydration would rise to 85%. There’s really no reason not to count the egg white, is there? So if people are finding the dough is a bit on the wet side, it’s understandable given 85% hydration.

        1. I meant 375, not 275. Sorry about that. But my basic point remains the same. A milliliter of water weighs a gram. In fact, that’s not a coincidence because the definition of a gram was conceived as the weight of a milliliter of water at a given temperature. Look at this chart:

        2. There was a typo in the recipe and the ml should be 360. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve fixed it. So folks using the metric measurements could have had a little too much water. But either way the hydration percentage is not 85%. The egg white does not go into the dough but is used to brush the shaped loaf before baking. The total water in the recipe (including starter) is 16 oz (456 g using the conversion of 28.3 g per ounce). The total flour in the recipe is 21.5 oz (608 g). 16 oz/21.5oz=74%. 456g/608g=75%.

      2. Oh good to know. Made this Sourdough rye yesterday and baked it today. Should have read the comments further down! This bread was delicious and in spite of putting 375 g of water and having to add over 1/4 cup more flour it was delicious! The dough was stiff and the crumb was tight but it baked up well with pretty good oven spring.

  56. Can you mix the cart away seeds in before the final proof? I think the kneeling after the final rise is causing some problems with my proofing.

  57. Hello, thank you for this recipe. I just tried making it but ended up with a similar problem to one of the previous posters. It stayed sticky and just wouldn’t rise. I ended up throwing it in the Dutch oven to bake hoping it will still turn out to be something good. But, I’d like to make what you’re describing. Do you know whether a ray-based started could be to blame for the problem?

    Thank you!

    1. The outcome of the loaf will depend on the texture of your starter. If your starter is wetter than the 100% starter I use to create this recipe the dough will be more sticky. Try adding a little extra bread flour next time.

  58. Hello, my starter has only been fed with AP flour. Do you know if I need to ‘feed it’ with rye flour beforehand or will feeding it as usual with AP flour do the trick? Just started the sourdough journey and looking to add a variety of flours/whole grains, etc. Thanks in advance!

    1. Either will work fine. I generally feed my starter with AP flour, but will often do a feeding with rye flour before making rye bread.

  59. Made this recipe over the last two days and was very disappointed in that there is too much water in the recipe and it ended up taking at least 2 more cups of flour than the recipe called for. Looking at the recipe and it doesn’t make sense that 2 1/2 cups liquid is too much liquid for 3 1/2 cups of dry. It is in the oven now and I hope it turned out but I’m not convinced. Too much work – won’t make again.

    1. A few clarifications. There are not 2 1/2 cups of liquid and 3 1/2 cups of dry in the recipe. The starter is equal parts flour and water so there are 2 cups of liquid and 4-ish cups of dry. This recipe is 74% hydration. That is, there is 74 percent of liquid to dry ingredients in the dough. This is a high hydration dough but is within a reasonable percentage. If you use volume measure for your flour make sure to use the “dip and sweep” method for filling the measuring cup. That is how I fill my measuring cups so I get 5 oz of flour per cup. If you fluff up the flour before measuring, or spoon the flour into the cup you could get up to an oz less per cup. Especially for sourdough breads, weighing your ingredients will give you the best results.

    1. There are 28g per ounce, so 28 ounces of water is 336g. To get the hydration percent you divide the weight of the water by the weight of the flour, including 4 oz of each from the starter. There’s 21.5 oz of flour isn this recipe and 16 oz of water. 16/21.5=74%. This bread has a hydration percent of 74.

    1. Rye bread is not an “enriched” (milk, butter, etc) bread. Rye flour already makes a weaker gluten network so adding milk, butter or other fats would make it weaker yet. Also, I want the rye flavor to be front and center.

  60. I couldn’t find a reliable source of malt syrup, until I had the bright idea of going to my local brewing supply company and getting a container of the syrup they use for beer making. Haven’t tried it in this recipe yet (lost my starter a month or two ago, got moldy on me) but the sourdough bagels turned out really nice!

  61. I am about to make rye bead for the first time and hoping that it will look just like the picture and taste as good as it looks. I intend to follow your recipe very closely. I have a question about the amount of starter to use. Is it 224 grams? The recipe does not specify the unit of measure.

    Thank you.

  62. Thanks for this delicious recipe. Just to clarify, I’m im assuming water is added in the first step when combining starter and one cup of bread flour? In the caption under the photograph, water is not mentioned.

    1. Yes, as stated in the recipe steps, the water is added in the first step. I’ve updated the caption on the photo to make it more clear.

  63. I took my dutch oven out of oven and placed the dough in it waited 1/2 hour longer and baked as per instructions on dutch oven, It rose a bit more yet also spread out some.. When I tested bread after baking on rack it was only 200 F. in center so baked 15 min more still 215, so 10 min more still 215 It was a nice brown so I removed from oven and covered with a towel let cool down and sliced it. It was still a bit damp in center, but had some nice pockets or bubbles and tasted wonderful. I am getting the first proof ready for another loaf today. I have been a yeast bread baker for several years and may have had a bit heavy hand when kneading also out of habit punched down the dough before the refrigeration step. I am going to use the fold over method this time see if that helps.

    1. I find sourdough so fascinating because it is a bit less predictable than regular yeast baking. Personally, I don’t cover the bread while it’s cooling because I like to preserve the crisp crust.

  64. Made recipe with 100% hydration starter, that has all purpose and whole wheat flour equal parts. I have not been able to find bread flour in our rural local stores. Night before I removed starter from jar and added 1/2 C stone ground rye and 1/2 C warm water to starter . It had a good reaction . I then followed rest of your instruction until after removal of dough from refrigerator, I placed my dough into basket instead of dutch oven so that I could pre heat the dutch oven while dough was resting. I placed the dough basket with damp towel on top on top of my stove while heating oven for 1 1/2 hrs at 425. The dough is still cold, rose very little , but dent in top remained instead of filling. I rested dough for 1/2 more hour on stove top without the damp cloth, no rise at all. The rise prior to refrigeration was very nice, but after kneed last time prior to overnight refrigeration seemed to knock the gas out of it and it remained silent. Any ideas?

    1. It’s always hard to say without seeing the actual dough. If your starter was nice and active I can’t imagine that the dough would peter out for lack of yeast activity. Rye dough behaves a bit differently than white dough in that it might not be quite as springy when you poke it. It is strange that there is no rise at all even after moving it to a warmer spot. It’s been an hour and a half since you wrote. Did you try baking it? If it’s still not baked you can try re-kneading and shaping to see if that kick-starts the yeast.

      1. I tried this recipe a second time. Followed instructions, the dough is very damp I also needed much more than 1/4 cup to remove from the bowl and it was still sticky. After the 4th proof the dough was very inflated, lots of bubbles, but did not hold shape,After refrigeration overnight I added fennel seed (what I had) in fold over method and reshaped to ball placed on parchment placed in basket with damp cloth cover in warm place for 1 1/2 hours. It rose, but spread out , it barely fit in dutch oven. I can’t get this to hold it’s shape, used the method you describe for forming ball, it is still sticky had to use additional flour to handle it. evidently there is a lot of gluten here as it has good string and yeast is active with many bubbles in dough. We love the taste, but the loaf ends up fairly flat in the end.

        1. The dough will start out very sticky, you can see the photo in the post of the dough after it comes out of the bowl, it’s quite slack and sticky. In my experience, by the time the 3-5 hours of fermentation is done the dough is quite resilient. Did you make any flour substitutions? Are you using predominantly bread flour with just a cup of rye flour?

  65. Thank you for this recipe, and your detailed instructions This is the third time I am making this and have really enjoyed it.

  66. Hi! I made this loaf today and it’s quite tasty! Mine had a more dense crumb than what is shown in your photos. I’m wondering if you think this dough could ferment longer in the fridge…perhaps 24-48 hours instead of 8-12.

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Yes, you could leave it in the fridge for up to 2 days. To retain some of the air achieved during fermentation, use a light hand when shaping the loaf. I know that’s hard when you’re adding the seeds.

  67. Am in the middle of making this recipe and so far so good! Question: because of how the timing has worked out — and because I’ve had success doing so with other sourdough recipes — would it be ok give this shape this into a loaf and then let it spend overnight in the fridge a second time before going into the oven? Thanks in advance!

    1. Do you mean leave it overnight, take it out and shape it, then put it back in the fridge again to bake the third day? If that is your question I would say to shape the dough late in evening of the day before you want to bake. I think a shaped loaf spending 24 hours in the fridge might over rise. If you mean at the end of the first day you shape it before going in the fridge instead of in the morning, that would work too.

      1. Love love this flavor and this recipe. My question is about baking time if dividing in two into loaf pans (my purpose is obtaining sandwich size).. For other loaves in loaf pans such as whole wheat I am doing 20 mins at 425 and lowering to 375 for about an hour. Of course I will experiment but my first thought is that might be too much for this dough if it needs only 35 mins on a stone? Thank you!

        1. I can’t say for sure since there are so many variables with baking time; the size of the loaf pan, how full the pan is, the material of the pan, etc. To get sandwich size from this loaf I make a longer, thinner oval shape so each slice is a manageable size.

  68. I’m making my second loaf now. The first one was delicious! I too had to add way more than 1/4 cup of flour when using the dough hook. This time I am going to bake it in my lidless 14x4x4 pullman pan so it will be better for sandwiches. I wonder though, can the caraway seeds be added in the first mix? Why fold them in later when the dough is cold and very stiff?

  69. Hey! Great recipe – I’m a lazy baker and hate kneading, preferring the “no-knead” long overnight room temp rise method. Just a heads up – I tried that with your recipe and it was AMAZING. Kept all ingredients proportions the same, just subbed molasses for the malt. My starter is a bit eclectic but awesome (mostly whole wheat but about 1/5 buckwheat flour by weight and has also had some all-purpose in the past). I simply stirred all ingredients together in the evening, covered bowl, and went to bed. In the morning (after 8-10 hours), I dumped dough out onto floured surface, kneaded in the caraway seeds via the gentle stretch and fold method (maybe 8ish folds), shaped and popped onto parchment. Then let rise another 1.5-2h at room temperature. Preheated oven+Dutch oven, scored bread and popped it in with its parchment, then baked per your instructions. SO EASY and husband RAVED – demanded repeat production ASAP. Fabulous fresh with butter at dinner, for delicious sandwiches, or as toast for breakfast – versatile and flavorful.. Favorite loaf I have tried to date. THANK you!

    1. I tried this method cause it seemed easy enough. Maybe because I used a rye starter, but after 8 hours it looked way overfermented, I could barely form it it was so sticky, and once I slashed the top (trying to put it in the oven asap, after half an hour), it completely deflated. Now it is barely rising if any, I’m afraid I will have to throw it out. I try again today with a 4 hour ferment time, already mixed the starter again.

      1. The recipe instructions have you put the dough in the refrigerator over night. Form the loaf in the morning and then leave it to rise. At what point was it over fermented? It should ferment at room temp on day 1 and then go in the fridge for the night. Do you mean it looked over fermented coming out of the fridge in the am? Even if it rose dramatically over night when you knead in the seeds and form the loaf it should loose some of the excess air.

        1. I meant I used Tory’s no knead method instead of your instructions. I just mixed everything and let it rise overnight for 8 hours. It was around three times it’s original sizes, and very sticky and wet. Even using excessive amounts of water and then flour to shape it, it constantly stack to the kitchen counter and was so soft that it barely hold it’s shape. I couldn’t even lift it into the pan without it sticking to my hand a bit and losing the shape again slightly. Then I slashed the top and it completely deflated. It did rise a tiny bit but the inside is gummy a bit and has a middle part where it is basically dough because it didn’t expand at all. Maybe it is the rye flour I use, I can only buy whole grain here, and the wheat was more AP, I think around 11.5% protein. Today I try to knead it and bake it after around 4-5 hours.

    2. I am mostly a ‘no-knead’ person, too. Just little time to do all the SnF’s. Thanks for letting me know that!

  70. Hi, just asking in the directions when you say to repeat the procedure for the folding and resting, do you mean do a second round of the full 30 minutes, fold, 30 minutes, fold, 60, fold or just another fold after the final 60 minutes? From step 4.

    1. Repeat the folding procedure every hour for a total of about 3-4 hours. If the dough is still not elastic and airy after 3 or 4 hours give it another hour or so at room temp. The total time will vary based on the activity in your starter, the temp of the dough and the ambient temp.

  71. Hi!
    I finally succeeded in getting the sourdough starter going (according to your recipe) and tried this as my first bake. Unfortunately the mix didn’t want to hold its shape at all. It rose beautifully in the bowl but was very soft. It came out of the fridge firm the next day but once I folded in the caraway seeds and tried to shape it, it just spread across the pan during proofing. I checked my wheat flour and it has %12 protein so it should be ok to use for bread flour right? (I’m currently in Austria and we use very different labelling here). I also added about two heaped tablespoons while mixing as I already thought it seemed a little soft. Once baked the inside was beautiful and airy but overall just a very flat, thin loaf.
    What can I do differently? Thanks!

    1. It sounds like you didn’t get good gluten development so the loaf couldn’t hold it’s shape. Did you give the mix a 30-60 minute rest as instructed in step 1? Did you do all the folds? I find that the last step where you shape the dough into a ball and then an oval is very important. You really need to get a nice tight and firm skin on the dough so it can hold it’s shape well. Next time, form the dough into a ball and cover it for 20 minutes. If it goes flat right away you know it’s not going to hold it’s shape. It’s hard to describe, but to shape the dough into the ball you use both hands in a back and forth swirling motion. I cup the dough between my two hands, with the sides of my hands on the surface. Push the dough back and forth between your hands with a slight swirl. This will cause the dough to pull tight across the surface forming that tight skin. It’s not the exact same motion, but in my Sourdough bagel video you can see how I form the dough into a ball using one hand. But it’s the same basic swirling motion. Also, I’m not sure if rye flour is the same in Austria so I can’t say if that would have an affect.

  72. Hi Eileen, I left you a well deserved 5 start review on this recipe a few days ago but it hasn’t been published. Any idea what i did wrong. Thanks Jim

    1. Hi Jim. The reviews are published automatically. I see you left a 5-star review on my “How to Maintain a Small Starter” post. So, thanks! If you want to also review the Sourdough Rye I’d very much appreciate it.

  73. Hi there.
    This is my first attempt at making sourdough bread.
    Is it possible to overwork this dough?
    I am concerned that my bread will turn out like a brick.

    1. It’s pretty hard to overwork the dough. The biggest challenge is usually getting enough lift from the starter and handling a wetter douggh.

  74. I am making the rye bread for the 2nd time in the Dutch oven. I began my sourdough starter and bread making at the beginning of the pandemic . I have made the boule, whole wheat honey, sandwich bread and the rolls, we love them all!! Your web site has made my bread making so easy, before I found you I almost gave up so thank you from my family and I! I have one small question, I am trying to eliminate disposable products from my home, when the directions say cover tightly and refrigerate, is it safe to use a bowl cover? I have been using satan wrap but would prefer not to. Thanks!

    1. Yes, you can use a bowl cover. Just make sure the surface of the dough has a coating of oil on it so you don’t get a crust on the outside of the dough.

    1. It makes quite a large loaf. It would probably be a little too big for a loaf pan unless you divide it in 2 and bake in 2 pans.

  75. I’ve been making sourdough bread for about a year and would like to try your recipe for sourdough rye. From the reading I’ve done the grind, fine or coarse, can impact the amount of liquid the rye flour absorbs. What brand flour do you use? Thank you!!

  76. Hi there
    Is there anyway to do this without the active dry yeast? Or would it not turn out as nicely

  77. If I halve the dough into two smaller loaves, is the baking time the same? Also, I will be baking mine on a sheet pan and a lot sourdough bread recipes say to put a pan of water in the oven to create steam to produce a nice crust. Is this something you recommend for this recipe? Thank you!

    1. If the loaves are smaller the baking time will likely be shorter. But the baking time is always an estimate. Start checking 10 minutes before the time listed and judge more by how the loaves look and feel than by time. If you’ve got a probe thermometer the interior of the loaf should be about 200F. Steam will help create a nice crust so go for it if you can. But it’s fine if you don’t have steam. Rye bread gets a nice shiny crust from the egg white.

      1. Hi
        Do I need to put it in the refrigerator or can I bake it after rising for about 4 hrs?

        1. The refrigeration step does improve the flavor and texture, but the bread will still be tasty if baked the same day.

  78. Would someEinkorn whole wheat work in this recipe and how much could be used? I’ve made this recipe twice and it has turned out very well. I do have to add a bit more flour than suggested. I also use my mixer to knead in the caraway seeds.

    1. Sure. You can replace a portion of the rye flour with the whole wheat flour to make a “multi-grain” bread.

  79. Great recipy for first timer! Started around 10 am with the proses. Used 1 rye, 1 nutty wheat & 1 1/2 white flour with Rye starter. Exchanged molasse for brown sugar, no eggs, and only let it rest for 8 hours ( not in the fridge) Came out wonderfully brown and delicious!! Thanks for the recipe. Next round going to try with sweat potato!

  80. This looks so good! I do have a question. I’ve been doing sourdough every week for awhile, trying different recipes. Also reading and learning which leads me to ask: is this a thin starter (100%hydration) or a stiff starter? I’ve tried both but find the thin starter easier to work with and gives better results.

    So I ran into a starter type mismatch recently on a recipe for a mini lemon olive oil cake with sourdough discard. The starter type was not specified but the description of the batter consistency said thick. Since mine was runny and I’ve made enough cakes to know that, I was able to simply stir in a few tablespoons of flour (& cornstarch to influence a more delicate crumb than the all purpose flour called for) and visually see the correct thickness. It came out great so I guess they were using a stiff starter. Now I’m worried when I don’t see the type/hydration of a starter. Adjusting on the fly for using the wrong starter and having the wrong hydration/texture to work with would not be as easy to do in a bread dough and probably would not turn out fine if one tried fixing it part of way thru the recipe.

    1. It’s a great question, Leenah. I do use a 100% hydration starter and all my sourdough recipes are written with that as the basis. You bring up a good point that perhaps I need to specify in the recipes the type of starter used.

  81. That was a fun recipe! Though if I were to do it again I wouldn’t have put all the water in. I had to fold mine so much to get it to a decent consistency. Also on the great British baking show they didn’t advise to use egg wash on bread since it darkens faster than the bread itself and fools you into believing the bread is done sooner than it really is. This bread had a beautiful color on its own especially that it has rye in it.
    Thank you so much for the recipe! I got a beautiful rise out of it. I’m waiting for it to cool. I have been watching a bunch of bread making classes through the quarantine and they were saying for rye bread you have to wait 24-48 hrs before you cut it. That’s not happening!! Can’t wait to cut into it!!!

    1. Well I’ve never in my life waited that long to cut any bread! Maybe a bread made with just rye flour and no wheat flour. Those are specialty breads that behave very differently that typical rye bread.

  82. Hi! Thanks for this beautiful recipe!

    Quick question: I am in the process of growing a whole grain rye 100% hydration starter. Should I only bake rye bread recipes with a rye starter or can I use my rye starter to try some of your other sourdough recipes as well?


    1. I think you can use the rye starter for any recipe. It will change the flavor, but I’m guessing that’s a bonus, right? I LOVE the flavor of rye flour and think it will add great flavor to almost any recipe. Now you gave me an idea to maybe try making rye sourdough donuts!

    2. I took a little of my rye starter and fed it with 90% bread flour and 10% dark rye flour about 3 feeds. Used it in a SD recipe that was 25% whole wheat and 75% bread flours. It was delish.

  83. This is the closest recipe I’ve found to the Polish rye bread we used to get from a local bakery when I was a kid! Love it!

  84. This is a great rye recipe. I’ve been looking for an easy one to use my sourdough
    starter that made a soft(ish) loaf. I do bake it in my Lodge pot like
    my other sourdough loaves and it came out perfectly. thanks!

    1. I made my rye bread using this recipe and it was wonderful. I baked it on my baking stone. If I used my DO instead, would I use the same temperature, baking time, lid on or off? Thanks

      1. If you bake it in a Dutch Oven I would preheat the DO in a 425F oven. When I use a Dutch oven for bread I like to bake it for 20 minutes with the lid on, 20 minutes with the lid off and then about 5-10 minutes straight on the oven rack to finish browning and crisping the crust. In fact, thanks for this question because I will add Dutch oven directions to this recipe.